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# A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth

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A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth [#permalink]  09 Aug 2004, 01:58
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Question Stats:

62% (03:08) correct 37% (01:06) wrong based on 8 sessions
A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth rings in its trunk. Each ring represents one year, and the ring's thickness reveals the relative amount of rainfall that year. Archaeologists successfully used annual rings to determine the relative ages of ancient tombs at Pazyryk. Each tomb was constructed from freshly cut logs, and the tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley.

Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the archaeologists' success in using annual rings to establish the relative ages of the tombs at the Pazyryk site?

(A) The Pazyryk tombs were all robbed during ancient times, but breakage of the tombs seals allowed the seepage of water, which soon froze permanently, thereby preserving the tombs' remaining artifacts.
(B) The Pazyryk Valley, surrounded by extremely high mountains, has a distinctive yearly pattern of rainfall, and so trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys.
(C) Each log in the Pazyryk tombs has among its rings a distinctive sequence of twelve annual rings representing six drought years followed by three rainy years and three more drought years.
(D) The archaeologists determined that the youngest tree used in any of the tombs was 90 years old and that the oldest tree was 450 years old.
(E) All of the Pazyryk tombs contained cultural artifacts that can be dated to roughly 2300 years ago.
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CR: tree rings [#permalink]  09 Aug 2004, 03:03
I think the answer is B. B is providing evidence to the fact that only trees from Pazyryk valley were used to construct tombs.
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B/w B and C but I agree with B. C does not say whether the given pattern is exclusive to the Pazyryk Valley. Thus, wood used in those tombs could be coming from different places.
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The question asks for a reason for the archaelogist's success in using relative ages.So I don't understand how B can be a answer.

What is the official answer and what is the explanation behind it.
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Bis my choice.

A- good story - doesnt help
C- ok - but is it from the P valleys trees?
D - ok - but are the trees from the P valley trees?
E-'cultural artifacts'? where is the link to the tree rings here?
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I would go with B.

Because we need to make sure that the tree actually come from the valley. C says that there were droughts and rain but we are not concerned with it since one ring for one year is more than enough to find the age
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This question is of the type 'strengthen the argument'

B is the only choice which provide a new information which supports the present conclusion.

B is my choice.
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This one is C. In order to determine relative age, you need to look to compare the rings from two trunks. You need a base point for the comparison, and the basepoint is the distinctive pattern.
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B for me.
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I will go with C.
B talks about trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley that have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys. But in the original argument its stated that tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley. So its irrelevant whether the rings in the trees in the Pazyryk valley are different from those in other neighbouring valleys.
I arrived at C by POE. Only thing i can understand from C is that all trees belonged to a time prior to the twelve years pattern. But i am not very sure how this contributes most to the explanation.
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Re: CR: tree rings [#permalink]  09 Aug 2004, 23:27
I think it is B.

I reached it by POE and all others are out of scope and donot explain the success of Archaeologists.

Because each year's rainfall is distinctive, the reference start point of one tree is good enough to establish the ages. Say, we know the rainfall in 1850 and the tree log which a distinctive ring corresponding to that year, any log which has that as the base ring can be stated to be around 154 years old(the current year is 2004). Thus, I believe B is the answer.

OlegC wrote:
A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth rings in its trunk. Each ring represents one year, and the ring's thickness reveals the relative amount of rainfall that year. Archaeologists successfully used annual rings to determine the relative ages of ancient tombs at Pazyryk. Each tomb was constructed from freshly cut logs, and the tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley.

Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the archaeologists' success in using annual rings to establish the relative ages of the tombs at the Pazyryk site?

(A) The Pazyryk tombs were all robbed during ancient times, but breakage of the tombs seals allowed the seepage of water, which soon froze permanently, thereby preserving the tombs' remaining artifacts.
(B) The Pazyryk Valley, surrounded by extremely high mountains, has a distinctive yearly pattern of rainfall, and so trees growing in the Pazyryk Valley have annual rings that are quite distinct from trees growing in nearby valleys.
(C) Each log in the Pazyryk tombs has among its rings a distinctive sequence of twelve annual rings representing six drought years followed by three rainy years and three more drought years.
(D) The archaeologists determined that the youngest tree used in any of the tombs was 90 years old and that the oldest tree was 450 years old.
(E) All of the Pazyryk tombs contained cultural artifacts that can be dated to roughly 2300 years ago.

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The fixed 'set of rings' provide a ref point to compare other logs used in other tombs.
Logs of more recent tomb will have more rings after the 'said pattern' of rings.
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OA is C
comments by SigEpUCI say it all

Here how it goes:

we need to determine the RELATIVE age of the tombs. There is no way how we can determine their ABSOLUTE age

we already know that all the logs are from Pazyryk Valley because the passage says: "the tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley"

trees from nearby valleys were not used AT ALL and so we don't care how their rings are different from those of the Pazyryk Valley trees. B is out

C provides us with a BASEPOINT (what an accurate word by SigEpUCI!)
Tombs with logs that have more rings from the basepoint are OLDER than tombs with logs that have fewer rings from the basepoint. This is how one can determine the RELATIVE age of the tombs (which are younger and which are older)
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Yes, last line of excerpt is an explicit assumption. Nice analysis Sigepuci
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I went through the drill again. You are right. B provides information about the forest trees and may be on the rainfall. but the conlcusion of this paragraph is the Archelogist finding relative age of tombs. This is possible only with the answer C. Cool.

Thanks for that explanation too.
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Re: [#permalink]  31 Aug 2010, 02:52
OlegC wrote:
OA is C
comments by SigEpUCI say it all

Here how it goes:

we need to determine the RELATIVE age of the tombs. There is no way how we can determine their ABSOLUTE age

we already know that all the logs are from Pazyryk Valley because the passage says: "the tombs builders were constrained by tradition to use only logs from trees growing in the sacred Pazyryk Valley"

trees from nearby valleys were not used AT ALL and so we don't care how their rings are different from those of the Pazyryk Valley trees. B is out

C provides us with a BASEPOINT (what an accurate word by SigEpUCI!)
Tombs with logs that have more rings from the basepoint are OLDER than tombs with logs that have fewer rings from the basepoint. This is how one can determine the RELATIVE age of the tombs (which are younger and which are older)

Awesome explanation, I went for B earlier.

May I suggest that may be with the yearly patter raining and they know how much rain is in during that time period, may be they can compare that with the official rain record to get the age of the tomb.
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Re: A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth [#permalink]  18 Apr 2013, 23:56
Very tough question. This is LSAT question I guess.

The KEY here is that Archaeologists successfully used annual rings to determine the RELATIVE ages of ancient tombs. What is relative age? It means archeologists only can determine how many year Tomb A is older than Tomb B or something like that. Okay, so how we can determine relative ages of tombs. Let assume each tombs has same base point X, we will count how many rings around X. For instance, Tomb A has X + 5 rings. Tomb B has X + 10 rings ==> Tomb B is 5 years older than tomb A.

Consider C: it says all tombs in Pazyrk have SAME BASE POINT in the middle of each log (12 rings), we only need to count how many rings around the base point to determine the RELATIVE ages of tombs.

Hope it helps.
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Re: A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth [#permalink]  19 Apr 2013, 03:51
I have some doubts regarding this question ,in particular option C. It already has been stated in the passage that each ring represents one year and that the thinckness of the ring represents the amount of rainfall. Now let us for example assume that the log of the youngest tomb has 100 rings and it becomes the reference by which the relative ages of the logs of the other tombs can be determined. Hence this additional information in option C is not required to determine the relative ages.
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Re: A tree's age can be determined by counting the annual growth   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2013, 03:51
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